By: Allison Lapinski
At the start of quarantine, the music sharing site Bandcamp immediately responded with relief for musicians via Bandcamp Fridays. The first Friday of every month gives 100% of the revenue to the artist. This is imperative to artists without a stable income or health insurance in the US. And unlike streaming on Apple Music or Spotify, purchasing the music and merchandise also means that you are curating your own digital or physical music library.
But even more than that, COVID-19 has forced listeners, critics, and artists to take a deeper look at the systemic problems of racial inequality and power dynamics of industry heads. What should “indie” music actually look like anymore?
If you are an enraged listener who is willing to put your money where your mouth is, then Bandcamp is a reputable platform to support artists and labels with extraordinary visions, free of the politics and ethical challenges of larger labels.
Bandcamp preserves that relationship between the listener and the musician during this period of time without live shows. If you haven’t already considered downloading the app, here are a few hand-picked albums to get your collection started today:
All proceeds from this album will go to the Prison and Neighborhood Arts Project
Poet and singer-songwriter Tasha teams with Sen Morimoto following their canceled Millenium Park at Home shows, which was set to be presented by the city of Chicago. Instead, the artists paired together for their own live at-home performances, resulting in this intimate and stripped-back album.
Chicago-based Ryan Ensley channels more of his DIY chops into the first release of the three-part, double album. Americana, folk, and indie fans will love the all-encompassing songs like “Pleasure Center Century,” a noisey and upbeat track.
Good Times Rock N Roll Club is a Bandcamp gem, now releasing their second split 7’’ with The Down-Fi and Toeheads. Recommended for garage rock fans!
NYALLAH’s thoughtful lyricism is striking and powerful in one sweeping listen. “Black Fantasy Dream” is a journey of acceptance and rejection of discrimination.
Ganser is one of the more slept on punk groups from Chicago. This invigorating new release from the quartet is creating a lot of much-needed buzz for the band. At the center of the album, “Growth with no reward. Finding strength in your less desirable traits.”
Now go fill up those wishlists!